Wednesday, August 30, 2017

My thoughts on my Olympus PEN E-P2 as a 2017 camera!!

So as you know i bought an Olympus PEN E-P2 as a camera that i think i would be able to bring everywhere everyday... Just looking for something to at least take better photos than my iphone7+ can do...but of course everybody knows the iphone is the better camera because its with me everywhere everyday in my pocket. No camera no picture! After that trip to Washington and New York with the A7S, i just find that i dont like bringing the A7S with me all the time because it is kinda bulky, but to be honest it is small compare to DSLRs. im just being a nitpick. and i was also impress looking at how small the olympus lenses were compare to my 24-70 Full Frame Sony lens....urrghh yucK!

So anyway, i end up with the PEN E-P2 because i got it at a great deal, its about $135USD plus shipping all the way from Japan. And it took about a week to reach my hands!! yum!

Check out that sexy beast. Its already been fitted with a black color leather skin which makes it more retro-ish looking. I didn't really like the brown grip but it was alright! 

 I bought it together with the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 lens which gets rave reviews although i just found out its also the slowest, sluggish AF performance as well. I can live with the AF speed but moving from a newer camera to older camera does make you notice how slow the performance-wise back in those 2010 days.

 I was actually surprised that the PEN E-P2 looks bigger than the OMD E-M10...not bigger but thicker... but my friend kept saying because of the OMD's black color it makes it look smaller. Probably. 

 The PEN E-P2 is definitely thicker from this top view shot.

 The OMD handles much better. Due to the grip design. 

Such a handsome camera. So good looking.

Aesthetically this PEN ticks all the right boxes...
So the next important question? How is the image quality??
All i can say is the PEN E-P2 takes good photos but not great! Its certainly better than the iphones/androids of the world....
When i say great, that means i am comparing it to the newer OMD (to be fair). As being said a lot in the internet, the newer 16mp m43 sensor (omd em1, em10, em5 etc) is better than the old 12mp.
Where it fails, is low light photos, its quality is something left to be desired...same for its AF performance with the 20mm 1.7. Again....Something left to be desired.
But i knew straight ahead, the world already knows it, this camera is not great at low light but i still think its better than my old Canon rebel 350d. But even at base ISO which is ISO200, there are noise if you pixel peep, zoom in 100%. It baffles me when people say Olympus takes clean images at base ISO. What r they smoking? Their definition of clean maybe differs than mine but i can say there are noise.

Here is base ISO 200. Definitely there's grain/noise. This is zoom in 100%. Shadow noise definitely visible.

The image quality reminded me of my Leica M8. But i believe the M8 is better due to sensor size, but for low light they both are pretty much the same. Theres banding in shadow areas, if you push the exposure...limit to ISO1600 for acceptable IQ. ISO3200 is ok for the PEN and if you convert to B&W it should be fine.

The LCD of the PEN E-P2 also reminded me of my Leica M8/M9. Its very low quality i mean low resolution for 2017 standards. But the problem with the PEN compared to the Leica is you are composing using the LCD, if you are not using the external VF. In bad light the LCD screen will show noise, like snow coming down. The problem with low resolution LCD is you cant really know if you got your focus right. YOu have to zoom in and check. But what i like about the low res LCD is the muted color your picture look like..

So due to the resolution of the LCD, i wont be confident shooting this for a paid job especially weddings. Imagine the horror coming back with blur non-focus photos! 😱

Actually i kinda lost for words, i probably save my thoughts for next post...

Anyway here's a sample photo taken with 20mm 1.7.
The 20mm 1.7 has decent bokeh. i like it. theres a good separation between the subject and the background. This is ISO1000.

So what better way to test the PEN E-P2? Travel of course!! i have a Bangkok trip coming when i just got the E-P2...definitely the camera to bring along!! Why thats the main purpose of getting the E-P2 of course!!

I think i'll save it for the next post! Stay tune!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Another PEN????

Another PEN?
It might sound crazy
But call me maybe...LOL

Anyway, i have yet to give a review of my new PEN E-P2 but let me tell you a secret, i got another one! Yes, another PEN! Just after 2 weeks of getting the PEN E-P2, i got another one. This is whats wrong with me, i would buy all the lower ends PEN when what i actually really want is the latest and greatest PEN, the PEN F but its just too damn expensive!

I think i should post step by step, i guess i have to do my review of my E-P2 first!

Well E-P2 review is next!!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

I caught the PEN fever!

I have a PEN, i have a fever, i have PEN fever!
I want a PEN, i have a bug, i caught PEN bug!
OK! Enuff!

PEN i refer here is of course the Olympus PEN series.... which PEN u ask? Well... not the latest and greatest the PEN F, actually i'm in love (or more GAS) with the older PEN E-P2!!

But why?

If you have been reading this blog for centuries, you know i like my camera to be retro-ish! Only Fuji and Olympus can give me that retro-ish modern camera...or i can just shoot film but i dont want to! My Sony....hmmm...i love what i get out of it but that camera just lacks soul....i just dont feel like fondling that camera hahaha sounds wrong but you camera nerds know wat i meant....

After that Washington DC trip, and whining about carrying the Sony A7S, complaining how bulky it was, although it is considered small compared to large ass DSLRs....i decided to get a small-ish, compact, a better IQ than iphone camera, something that i can carry everyday, everywhere, perfect for travel, a camera that can take a beating, or at least a camera where i can put anywhere, not safely tucked in a padded bag, just like i did with my Sony... getting too much pampered.... i want a camera that i can just put somewhere without care...just like my iphone....

By this time i no longer interested with the Fuji X70, although that is the camera to get...i was scrolling around 43rumors website when i stumbled a retro looking camera, of course the vintage manual lens doesnt help (GAS alert!) i search high and low to know which model it was, i know it was the PEN series but i never ever seen it so retro just like the old school film was the PEN E-P1/E-P2 series! What makes it so retro? the trick was the custom leather skin applied to its body and of course the vintage look lenses...Oh my... i'm in love!!!

Just look at that all black retroish Olympus camera, in all its glory (ignore the ugly fuck lumix)
taken from

So off to ebay i go and WAT DA EFF, it only cost a hundred-ish bucks! Perfect! So cheap! i never bought a camera this cheap! But instead of the all black i'd go for the silver version so that it looked more retro but somehow i feel a lil bit regret of not buying the black one but i can buy two!! bcos its dirt cheap.... as if i got money to burn! hello credit cards!! VISA must love me!

I'd go with this color....and it already has leather skin applied, but i just hate that brown grip..ah well u cant have it all!

Sure there are marks, dings and scratches, which means it can take a beating and i dont have to love this camera.... sure its an old technology but the photo will come out better than that the iphone... from my research the AF is not as fast as newer Olympus but looks fast enough for me...this i gotta test it myself, soon i do a quick review of this little machine....

It looked small but its probably bigger than i imagined but yeah whatevs,,,, i m already in love!! 

Anyway, why Olympus you say??
Yea i admit i do bash Olympus before but at the time i dunno what i want with my photography....after so many years of taking photos, i only printed a few times and i never printed large....mostly everything is for social media or viewing on the phone/web which the Olympus is more than capable of....
and i always have a soft spot for Olympus.... the miniature size is compelling! I met a guy once he was selling some of his Olympus gears and when he put all the lens on the gosh they are so small, compare to my Sony lenses...uurrgghh Sony! its effing large!

So yeah, my EP2 is on its way from Japan....and i bought a Panny 20mm 1.7 pancake lens.... because i just love bokeh! although i would prefer a 35mm equivalent since my eyes are already used to it, so 40mm i just need to back off a lil bit....

So theres 2 pancake lenses from Panasonic that almost covers my fav focal length, theres the 14mm 2.5 and 20mm 1.7... thats 28mm and 40mm respectively....perfect! Next in the wishlist is the 14mm, that would be perfect for travel street photogs.

But of course as GAS goes, right after i 'click buy' EP2, i also want the EP3 in black version!! OOOhhhh maaamama

Damn you GAS!!!!
Cmon EP2 come sooner!!

Here's a RAW sample file i downloaded from web, edit lightly with lightroom and i am happy with it!! 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

So i stop whining and brought my Sony A7S to the States!

So in my previous post i was GASing for the Fuji X70 because of its small compact kinda size compare to my Sony A7S for this trip to Washington DC.... in the end i did not buy it because i'm being wise and saved me $700USD at the same time. haha..Although i keep checking B&H photo and lensrental websites for great deals. There was a used X70 for $500 but in the end since i already brought my Sony, why would i buy the X70.... So i just stop whining and brought my A7S. My argument was hand carrying my Sony A7S for these 2+8+14 hours of flying not including layover. My lowepro fastpack seems to be a great travelling backpack although i hate using backpacks since it would sweat my back more.  Overview of the trip was i didnt get to shoot the milkyway (the original plan) because of lack of tripod and the distance of my hotel from the Washington DC Mall is quite far.

P/S Shopping and taking photographs for me cannot coexist lol. So in the end i think the best camera is still my iphone because its either you got your picture or you dont.

But here are some shots from my A7S....

reminds me of the Shining....pity who stayed at the end....long walk to the elevator 

Although its a bitch to carry this Sony A7S but i love the output id get out of it...